39 Emotions Digital Marketers Can Use In Advertising

In a previous article, How To Make A Video Go Viral, I mentioned research that shows videos that evoked the emotion of hilarity, inspiration, astonishment, and exhilaration tended to be shared the most. People shared videos that elicited “high-arousal” or intense emotions twice as much as ones that elicited “low-arousal” or moderate emotions.”

For the past few months, I’ve been searching for a new way to categorize emotions and I stumbled across a post on LinkedIn that said, “Here it is! The DAIVID Field Guide to Emotions in Advertising with each of the DAIVID 39 emotions.”

The LinkedIn post said,

“As every good creative knows, make people feel something and it will have an effect on brand and sales.”

So, I downloaded their field guide and read all 56 pages in one sitting – like a whodunit. It even opens with a killer quotation by Jonathan Haidt,

“The rational mind thinks it’s the Oval Office when actually it’s the press office.”

The field guide draws from research conducted at the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford University; and the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science at the University of South Australia.

The field guide categorizes 39 emotions into 6 “emotional cohorts”  and acknowledges,

“Emotions in advertising are nothing new. Intuitively, gifted storytellers have taken us through lows and highs to make us feel good and well disposed towards brands through the years.”

It explains, “What we have lacked up to this point though, is a clear codification. Whether something is ’emotional’ or not has often been decided subjectively and with the poor emotional lexicon that we humans have.”

And it concludes, “That’s why we have the DAIVID 39, which gives us a common language to communicate this through the advertising process and brief with feeling.”

So, here is

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